The use of computer technology to simulate architectural designs is well established in the profession and education. However most software interfaces in this field are intricate and require substantial time input, while the hardware requirements to produce quality animations are continually expanding. This software / hardware ‘squeeze ’ can have a detrimental impact in the educational context of the architectural design studios. Students start with high expectations and rapidly become disillusioned at the time it takes to transfer ideas to digital reality. Those who persist often produce seductive computer graphics at the expense of design quality. This paper describes an innovative architectural design course at the University of Auckland in which computer game software was utilised as the design medium. The preliminary outcomes indicate that this relatively inexpensive software may address the above problems and in addition offer other learning opportunities
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